Systematics of the millipede-parasitic genus Myriophora (Diptera: Phoridae)

Monday, November 11, 2013: 11:13 AM
Meeting Room 8 AB (Austin Convention Center)
John M. Hash , Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA
John Heraty , Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA
Brian V. Brown , Entomology, Natural History Museum, Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA
Millipedes in the order Polydesmida and superorder Juliformia produce toxic defensive compounds that deter predators. Despite these defenses, several insect taxa are predators and parasitoids of chemically defended millipedes. Phorid flies in the genus Myriophora are unique in that they have co-opted these compounds as kairomones for host location. Currently, 75 new species of Myriophora are being described, and the estimated number of species worldwide is approximately 200. Characters associated with the structure of the female oviscape have proved useful for both species recognition and phylogenetic inference. Morphological and molecular character data independently support the monophyly of the genus. Preliminary data from portions of mitochondrial 16S, CO1, and nuclear protein coding genes TPI and AK provide increased resolution for evaluating Myriophora host associations in a phylogenetic context.